Amendment Seeking to Defund the NSA Survives House Rules Committee

Libertarian-themed political website is reporting that the Amash Amendment has survived the House's Rules Committee process. The Rules Committee voted late last night to allow several anti-NSA amendments to the $598.3 billion defense bill to be voted on this week.

The Amash Amendment, the brainchild of Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan), seeks to defund the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs. Another amendment seeks to prohibit the NSA from collecting data on Americans unless they are under investigation. Both are amendments to the defense bill.

Other amendments to the bill will also be up for consideration including an amendment from Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel to block funding to Syrian rebels (he claims funding is at odds with the War Powers Resolution), an amendment introduced by Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Amash that prohibits the use of funding for military or paramilitary operations in Egypt, and an amendment by Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Adam Smith (D-Wash) that would allow for the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States or elsewhere.

Those looking to put pressure on their representatives concerning the NSA amendments can do so by visiting

You can read the actual text of all these amendments here.

Thanks to EZK for the tip.

Source: Reason


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  1. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    So you think a ponzi scheme masquerading as a retirement plan is effective? You think a war on a plant that has resulted in millions of harmless people having their lives ruined by our "justice" system is a good thing? You think regulations that result in the increase of prices and reduction of availability to consumers is right? You think an education system that is forcing students into unsustainable debt and lowering their preparedness for adult life while at the same time increasing the cost of said education is doing them a service? That is just off the top of my head.

    While the US has not yet reached Greece or Detroit levels as of yet doesn't mean it won't. 

    E. Zachary Knight
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  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    One of the down sides of our particular system of government is we have an unusually slow legislative process.  I have a  hard time seeing an increase of paralysis in a government already so divided and so obsessed with obstructionism doing anything positive.

    As for 'failed and wasteful', such things are rather subjective.  We have the largest economy in the world, with twice the GDP of our nearest rival.  While I know  the 'private enterprise did it all!' meme is really popular right now (always seems to pop up when the middle class gets anxious), realistically we do not have some magic population that creates wealth out of pure bootstrap awesomeness… our wealth comes from the interaction between private and public institutions.

    In other words, while it has a great many faults, our government as actually been pretty effective, and the economy you live in is in part due to those 'failed and wasteful' policies.

  3. 0
    Cyberdodo says:

    The only purpose for adding anti-NSA amendments to a bill is to kill the bill.  Any concerns our Congress shows concerning domestic surveillance is fabricated for show.

    The rage at Edward Snowden, Russia, and Venezuela is quite genuine, however. Shoot the messenger! And how DARE any country not cower in abject FEAR of the United States?!

    There's too much power, greed, and corruption for it to be any other way.


  4. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    Whether it's Obama or anyone else I would prefer they stop listening into citizens who have done nothing wrong. The whole Nixon/Watergate thing was just about a hotel room being tapped the whole Obama/NSA situation is that the entire nation's phones are being tapped.

    Whoever is in power does not need that sort of power. 

  5. 0
    Infophile says:

    It's pretty much the only way politics can get done. If everything was voted on piece-by-piece, few things would get passed, especially when it comes to things that cost money – if politicians don't see the value in something that will cost money, they won't vote for it. The only way to get around this is to pile things together so that there will be enough in there that a majority will be willing to hold their noses and pay for things they don't care about so that the things they do care about will be passed. It's all a matter of compromise.

    Is it abused sometimes? Of course. But it's a sad necessity to get politicians to work together rather than getting nothing done. (Though these days, it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.)

  6. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    How about an amendment prohibiting the tacking on of completely unrelated measures to other ones up for vote?  It muddies the issues and prevents lawmakers from coming to a decision on a case-by-case basis.  They have to vote against their interests on one measure simply because it is lumped in with another that they feel is more important.  Or because even if their vote hinges on a particular amendment they don't like, they will be criticized for being "against" defense, or the poor, or whatever the bill it's attached to was about.  It's a transparent and obvious ploy by their opponents, but it's extremely effective on a populace that looks no further than what the talking heads say.

    That being said, this case is not a particularly egregious one.  Most of these amendments are actually related to spending by the DoD, so kudos for that.  I'm just annoyed by the practice in general and think it should go.

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